~ Chapter 21: Ayuseya’s fate and Illsyore’s madness ~
While the teachers dispersed the students and Tuberculus led Keltaru to the infirmary, I followed Ayuseya and Nanya. They entered the main building and then went up the stairs until they reached my room. Upon opening the door, Shanteya offered the two a short bow and placed herself between them and my crystal body.
“Illsy. You are here, right?” Nanya asked.
“Yup!” I replied.
“Good. Do you understand now the differences between ranks?” she asked me with a calm voice.
“Yes, I do…” I replied.
“Good.” she nodded.
Ayuseya remained quiet and looked between Nanya and Shanteya. It was quite possible that she had yet to figure out the reason as to why she was called over. Tuberculus, the headmaster of the academy, wasn’t there and neither were any of the other teachers. Her options varied between being scolded for not holding her guard on a short leash, her recent activity at school, and of course, her curses.
‘Was I really called over because of Keltaru?’ she wrote down on the blackboard.
Nanya looked at it for a moment and then removed it from her hands. She placed it down on the shelf of the nearby bookcase.
“You don’t need that now, do you?” she asked and turned around to face Ayuseya.
The draconian princess blinked surprised and acted as though she had no idea what she was talking about.
“She knows…” I said.
When Ayuseya heard me, she let out a long sigh.
“Indeed, it would have been hard to keep it away from your woman.” she remarked.
“Yes… Wait, what?” I replied and looked at her confused.
I think I misheard that last part… I thought.
“Wha-wha-what are you talking about?! I-I’m not his woman!” retorted Nanya, who turned red as tomato.
Shanteya looked with big eyes at her and covered her mouth with her fingers to hide her surprise.
“Yes, Nanya, you should come clean now. That night of hot passion under the moonlight… Ah! It was divine! Or-or did you just use the poor little me?” I said with an exaggerated tone of voice.
“ILLSYYY!” she shouted at me, looking all cute and furious at the same time.
I want to tease her more, but I fear she might shatter me into a billion pieces… I thought.
“Hahaha! Sorry! Sorry! I couldn’t abstain!” I said.
“Mou!” she puffed her cheeks and crossed her hands at her chest.
“Me and Nanya are just friends, for now.” I said with a smile, but she threw me a glare my way after the last remark.
Shanteya let out a sigh of relief.
“I see… Then, I’m guessing I’ve been called here because of the curse? It matters not, I wished to have a word with Illsyore after the duel was over anyway.” she spoke calmly.
“You aren’t mad about your guard being beaten up like that?” I asked curiously.
“He was the one who challenged a Godlike to a battle. Although I was worried he might be killed by our teacher, in the end, it was a good lesson for his ego.” she answered while looking over at Nanya.
“The foolish boy was the one who asked for it. But we’re not here to talk about Keltaru, we’re here because of your two curses.” Nanya said and quickly returned the conversation back on its track.
“Of course, Illsyore has my gratitude for removing them for me.” Ayuseya made a soft bow with her head.
“Yes. You are putting Illsy at great risk!” she declared.
“I know, he did me a great favor, one which I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay.”
“You aren’t a simple draconian woman! You are the princess of Teslov Kingdom! That idiot Dankyun is also your fiance!” Nanya glared back at her.
Ayuseya squinted her eyes when she heard that man’s name.
“It’s a political engagement. I had no say in the matter. Regardless, I’m well aware that my current status and bloodline may bring trouble because the curse was removed, but I do not intend to let Illsyore become a target.” she declared calmly.
“I don’t believe you!” Nanya glared at her.
“What’s there not to believe?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
“I think you knew about him! Maybe you heard about how Shanteya was cured and decided to give it a try! Maybe you decided to use your violin to trick the blockhead!” she accused.
“Hey! That blockhead can hear you!” I protested.
“I did no such thing! I didn’t even know of Illsyore’s ability until he actually cured me! I never hoped I would be freed of those curses in my entire lifetime!” she defended herself.
“You are lying.” declared Nanya.
“I am not.”
“You two do realize you are a Godlike and a princess right?” I asked.
“For what reason did you even come here anyway? If it’s about asking Illsyore to come back to your country, not happening scaly!” said Nanya shaking her head.
“How rude! Even if I did come here for such a thing, it’s ultimately Illsyore’s choice! He is a sentient being like all of us! He can think and judge by himself! Even if you are a Godlike Rank or a teacher at this academy, you have no right to trap him like this!” declared the princess.
While I was completely ignored, lightning bolts were being thrown between their glares, and it was quite comical to see the 2.15 m tall dignified Ayuseya arguing like that with the 1.56 meters tall Nanya, who looked like an angry 15 years-old teenager. Regarding chest size, it was like comparing basketballs to tennis balls. Shanteya was probably around soccer ball level.
“Enough with defending the crystal ball, why did you want to come here?” Nanya asked.
Technically speaking, I believe I’m a polyhedron… I thought.
“To request Illsyore to make me his temporary slave and let me hide inside of him. In a couple of days, Dankyun will be arriving at this academy, and I don’t wish to return with him.” she stated.
Say what now? I asked in my mind.
“D-Dankyun? He’s coming here?” Nanya asked clenching her jaws and fists.
In a single moment, the atmosphere changed to a rather serious one.
“I received word two weeks ago that he is on his way to this academy as we speak. Up until a day ago, I considered giving up the fight. With the curse he placed on me and the one from my family, there was no way I could fight against him. He’s also a Supreme. No one would dare to take my side. Even the Paramanium Empire has his back.” she explained calmly as she closed her eyes.
“Then you just have to run away from here and lead that piece of garbage away from here!” said Nanya with a clenched jaw.
“Run? Where could I possibly run to? He’s a Supreme…” she asked and lowered her eyes for a moment.
“I don’t know, and I don’t care. As long as you swear on your life to never mention how you got the curses removed, you can recover your strength, maybe even build up a resistance somewhere. I don’t want this academy or Illsyore to be mixed up in your little political struggle!” she stated with a sharp look in her eyes.
“It’s not up to you to decide that.” said Ayuseya calmly, ignoring her glare.
“Oho? And why’s that?” she asked with an annoyed smirk.
“Like I said, Illsyore is the one who is to decide.” she looked over at my crystal body.
Nanya clicked her tongue.
“Ugh… That’s a tough one. So what would we accomplish if I were to allow you to hide you in my Inner Mind?” I asked.
“By hiding inside of you, Dankyun will completely lose track of me. After all, no one has heard of a dungeon absorbing another living being like that. When I was inside of you yesterday, my guards lost all track of me. It’s like a completely different dimension in there. I’m sure he won’t have any way of reaching me.” she explained.
“That sounds logical, but what if you run away as Nanya said?” I asked.
“If I do, he will be able to track me down and drag me back to Teslov sooner or later. Once there, he will marry me by force and then kill me or use me as his toy. I may be a princess, but I am a princess only in name. My kingdom is too weak and won’t go against him or Paramanium. I dare say I may be among the last generations of royals. What’s more, even if I die, he will technically still remain as a part of the royal family, granting him access to my country’s funds and army.” she explained.
“If it’s that easy to take over your country, why hasn’t anyone else done so until now?” I asked.
“What makes you believe they haven’t? Many Supremes married into my family and controlled the country from the shadows for as long as they desired to. There were times when we were forced to marry even Emperor ranks to keep our family alive. Some even remarried other members of my family after their spouses died. The Teslov Kingdom had been lost the moment my ancestor was cursed. To the outsiders, we appear to be powerful, but inside, we still exist only because of the Paramanium Empire’s whim. For example, Dankyun has been forced upon my family by the fourth prince of the Paramanium Empire. Father wasn’t even ALLOWED to negotiate the terms of the deal. The only good thing that comes out of this is that as long as Teslov wags its tail in front of Paramanium, then Teslov is safe from outside threats.”
“Basically, you survived until now only because you were too weak to be considered of any sort of threat.” I said.
“Exactly, but with my curses removed, you have given Paramanium the best reason to conquer Teslov and completely exterminate my family…” Ayuseya closed her eyes for a moment.
“I don’t care! You are from the other side of another continent! This is Sharoya, why should we even be bothered by what happens to your kingdom? It’s not like a massacre is going to occur! It will be just your family that gets wiped off!” growled Nanya.
“Nanya, knock it off!” I raised my tone a bit.
She flinched and looked towards me.
“Sorry, it’s just that if you are dragged into this political mess, it will never end. Not only will this academy be in danger, but you as well… If that bastard Dankyun were to find out what you can do, he won’t hesitate to attack this place. I know it, I’ve seen how despicable that man can be! If Princess Ayuseya’s words spoke the truth, then surely he will try to pull her out of here, marry her, then kill her just to get his hands on the Teslov Kingdom’s power. If that’s his plan, then he won’t stop no matter what! I’m not going to just stand around idly and watch as he destroys this academy just because of one foreign princess!” explained Nanya, but in my eyes, she was angrier about Dankyun coming over here than the draconian princess’ fate.
If Ayuseya left the academy, then he would have no reason to come here. Unfortunately, if that happened, she would surely end up with a fate worse than death. I couldn’t let that happen.
“I understand… I apologize…” said Ayuseya as she lowered her head. “I may have been a bit unreasonable.” she looked down at the floor.
If I chase her off… what will happen to her? What can I do to prevent this? I thought and tried to push my single neuron to run faster on that squeaky hamster wheel, but nothing popped in my mind.
I never was one who could understand politics, the implications behind a certain decision, the weight those in power had to carry, but at the same time the corruption they faced. If I were to take as an example Earth, then the fight for the good of mankind was slowly losing against corruption and inhumanity, but this was another world. Here, the blood of a royal could weigh more than an entire army. Equality wasn’t something a peasant could dream about. Maybe just at this academy such morals and status differences were partially ignored.
Is this why Nanya wants to defend this academy? Sigh, but maybe she also holds some feelings for me, otherwise, why would she struggle so hard to push Ayuseya away from me and the academy? Or does she fear that much this Dankyun fellow? Ugh… this is hard. My words could mean someone’s death… My decision could endanger me and everyone else here! I thought, and for once, I was glad none of them could see the frustration on my face.
“So, Nanya, what do you want me to do?” I asked after a long moment.
“I want her gone from this place, but only after she swore on her life to never mention where she got cured!” she replied sharply.
“What do the other teachers want?” I asked.
“If they knew… they would wish to stay out of another kingdom’s political struggle. They would give Ayuseya away.” she answered.
It’s true. That’s the most logical and easiest thing to do… I thought.
“Shanteya? What do you believe I should do?” I asked and both Nanya and Ayuseya blinked surprised when they heard me asking the opinion of a maid.
“I will stand by whatever master chooses.” she replied calmly and without a doubt in her heart.
With all of them having said their opinions and knowing what the other teachers might think about it, I began to analyze the situation to try to come up with a good solution. I stayed quiet for more than half an hour, thinking back and fourth at what I could do.
“Did he break?” asked Nanya at one point.
“No.” I replied shortly.
Although I thought hard about it, the options were quite simple: 1) hide Ayuseya and pray to the gods that Dankyun doesn’t know she was there; 2) kick her out of the academy and feign innocence when Dankyun asks about it; 3) kill her either through a direct spell or a trap in my dungeon.
Least to be said that number three was out of the question from the get go, but I did wonder if there was any way to actually fake her death. The idea made my inner detective think about various things I could do to cover her tracks. With my ability to create and destroy a room, I could simply create any sort of fake crime scene and then pretend like it really happened, but a murder scene on my territory would be rather suspicious, especially since I can detect when a student’s life sign goes off. It would also be hard to create a fake killer and poison wouldn’t pass Zertan that easily.
There was also something Ayuseya said that caught my attention: the fact that when she was inside of me, her guards lost track of her. Thinking about it logically, it meant that they had some spell or magic item to track her down from a distance. That might have been exactly how Dankyun found her, and the only reason he didn’t chase after her, until now, was because he didn’t really care where she went. I did remember that in some mangas and novels, in various fictional worlds, couples and friends could make use of various ways to track each other and know if they were still alive or not. Usually, all they needed for that spell to work was a drop of their blood.
Thus, number two went down the drain. Even if we lied to Dankyun, he would still be able to find her. Sooner or later, she would end up in his grasp, and that was about it for Ayuseya, however, why Nanya preferred this option was quite clear. It would stir any political attacks away from the academy and subsequently: me. In the end, she would end up dead, and I didn’t see how her promising she won’t tell about me solved a possible truth serum problem. Have Ayuseya gobble that up, and they could even find out what sort of naughty play she liked more. In other words, choosing this option meant leaving Ayuseya to the fates, and I highly doubted they would spare her of the torture Dankyun probably had in store for her. After all, he was the bastard who made her drink a potion made out of the remains of 1000 flesh-eating worms.
I was left with option number one. Choosing to protect and defend her, but I couldn’t keep her inside me for an endless period of time. Eventually, I would need to let her out and then Dankyun would know. I needed something else… something to keep his filthy hand off of her and solve the political mess that followed if he got his hands on her.
My friend once told me that when you end up in a hole too big to get out off, sometimes the best solution was to dig down until you knocked at Hell’s door. The devil would be too annoyed by the light you let in and kick you back on the surface. Of course, that would end up causing you more problems, it might even put you face to face with the devil, but sometimes, life meant exactly that, biting hard and grabbing the ropes of insanity. That being said, what would be the most stupid thing to do right now? What would be the most annoying thing for Dankyun? What would piss off all the kingdoms at once? Hm… Let’s try the insane route! Worse-case scenario, I’ll just reincarnate again! So damned be politics and sanity! Muhahaha! I thought and then an evil smirk appeared on my lips.
Of course, I didn’t go crazy, I just turned off my fear of the illogical and accepted the absurd. I looked upon my current life as I would a game and added the funny option no one would usually think about, that one thing no one expects you to say or accept as a possible option to begin with.
“I reached a conclusion and it has nothing to do with cats, bananas, or Nanya doing a strip dance for me! But it has something to do with the chicken that crossed the road to find the plebeian toad that ate the mushroom of the octopus in a cow shrinking ray paradoxical dance machine! But don’t let the chair hear you, he might be plotting with the pigeon to take over the world!” I declared proudly, although my words didn’t make any sense at all.
The hell did I just say? I thought to myself after a second.
“What?” the teenage-looking girl showed me a ‘what the…’ expression on her face, brow furrowed, right eye squinted, and head pulled back a bit.
I think it worked… they are confused. I thought.
“Now, you shall answer me carefully or else I’m going to Colly Tos you every day! I want you to say Yes or No, honestly! This all about instinct! There’s no need to think too much, actually you won’t have time! Kukuku!” I let out an evil snicker.
“Alright…” said Ayuseya a bit confused.
Here goes nothing… I thought.
“Well then! Will you…” dramatic pause “not not not not not not not not not not not NOT marry me?” I asked and then started counting “5… 4… “
“Yes!” replied both Nanya and Ayuseya at the same time.
“Huh?” I blinked surprised. I wasn’t expecting Nanya to answer.
[Mad Destroyer Nanya Demonarkiar the 2nd is now your Spouse]
[Abandoned Princess Ayuseya Drekar Pleyades is now your Spouse]
Oh crud… This stupid system! This was actually possible?
In that moment, a yellow light enveloped their ring finger on their left hands and black tattoo rings made out of tiny, microscopical magic symbols appeared instead of wedding rings.
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